While the recently revealed Essential Gear collection was designed for the pros wearing guns, night vision goggles and flak jackets, the 2010 Luminox Sentry line was intended primarily for the civilians craving for the affordable watches with almost eternal (in terms of human life, at least) tritium tube lighting and cool military styling.
As usual for the Luminox’s ‘tactical’ line, the collection is offered in carbon-reinforced polymer cases fitted with polyurethane straps and featuring the usual unidirectional rotating bezels with a 60-minute scale on them.
Sporting a set of bold Arabic numerals accompanied by six light-emitting LLT tritium tubes serving as hour markers and two more tubes installed into the hour and minute hands, the dial is perfectly legible both during the day and at night. Just what you need from this type of timekeeper: no-nonsense, no fancy decor, just business.
According to their official press release, the Sentry collection is powered by the Ronda 515 AIG 6 “Swiss quartz” caliber. I can’t tell you anything about this movement, besides the fact that this member of their Powertech 500 line of battery-operated mechanisms is equipped with a simple calendar, features a hacking seconds function (you’ll probably love it if you are one of those types who prefers to set their watches according to atomic clocks) and works for almost four years (45 months according to official specifications, but I am not sure whether they count in the power saving feature into the ‘life expectancy’ formula) on the same Type 371 (1.5 V) battery.
Unlike many watches that are powered by the “throw-away” variety of cheap plastic movements, the 515 family is known to be repairable, which is great if you don’t like to sit weeks without your favorite wristwatch on a military base in some godforsaken excuse for a country waiting while the replacement is mailed to your local service station. On the other hand, if you indeed find yourself in one of such countries, there is a good chance that there will be no service station at all, so you’d still end up with your favorite Luminox Sentry laying dead in your chest of drawers. Well, such is life.
Trying to sell as many watches as practically possible, Luminox priced the Sentry at ridiculously low $255 (recommended price, but you’ll probably be able to find one at a lower price on eBay) putting them among the most affordable yet quality watches available on the U.S. market.
As far as the exterior design is concerned, I must say that this is a pretty nondescript gadget that is designed to be indestructible in most circumstances with its 43mm carbon-reinforced polymer case providing enough shock protection for the quartz movement while not accumulating too many dings and scratches from years of abuse in the filed. I am just unsure about the setting crown: while I don’t care much about how it looks, I also have the impression that it may become a usability problem as well.
Made of 316L stainless steel, the crowns that the Sentry collection is equipped with are a bit too smooth to handle so setting time and date may become a real hassle, especially if your hands tend to sweat. Still, I must admit that the Sentry makes a good impression: an almost perfect tool for professionals.
See also: Luminox Essential Gear Sea diver
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Luminox Sentry collection specification
Price range: $255 (MSRP)
Movement: Swiss quartz, RONDA 515 AIG 6 movement, repairable, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Power reserve: 45 months
Case material: Carbon-reinforced polymer
Size: 43.00 mm
Dial: Black (ref. 0201.SL,) white, and dark olive-gray, 6 tritium tubes
Hands: Skeletonized with tritium tubes
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Polyurethane, black